Mundy’s 2 homers help LB girls go 2-0, JR girls split their games before heading into busy week of play
Poor weather has become a tradition for the annual Botetourt Bash softball event, and this year was no exception. The 10-team tournament was rained out of Friday’s action and an abbreviated schedule was played on a chilly, but sunny, Saturday at the Botetourt Sports Complex.
Each team was guaranteed two Saturday games, and Lord Botetourt swept two opponents while James River split. The scheduled championship round was not played this year.
Botetourt used the long ball to sweep two games, bashing three home runs while defeating Riverheads, 10-0, and Tazewell, 17-8. Hannah Mundy had home runs in both games for the Cavaliers.
Against Riverheads Mundy’s three-run homer was the big blast and Maranda Switzer had two hits and two runs batted in. Freshman Maia Folk pitched a complete game one-hitter, fanning 10 and walking jut one batter.
Against Tazewell LB had a 6-1 lead after five innings, but the Bulldogs hung seven on the board in the top of the sixth to take an 8-6 lead. Then LB exploded for 11 in the bottom of the inning for a knockout blow.
Kaitlyn Deeter’s two-run homer tied the game. That was followed by three walks and a single by Maegan Barnes that plated two more, putting LB back ahead. Leah Carlton kept the inning alive for one of her three hits in the game, and Mundy ended the game with a grand slam home run. It wasn’t technically a “walk off” homer, but the game was called at that point.
The two wins gave LB a 5-1 overall record, combined with two wins over Blue Ridge District foes last week. LB beat Northside, 8-2, as freshman Meredith Wells pitched a complete game and they shut out Fleming, 20-0, behind freshman Lauren Hoffman’s one-hitter.
River split two games at the Bash, falling to Liberty in Saturday morning’s game, 3-2, but bouncing back for a 2-1 win over Galax.
Liberty used a big offensive first inning and a strong pitching performance by Millie Thompson to edge the Knights. Thompson scattered five hits and had 14 strikeouts with only one walk.
Playing in a gusty wind, the Knights misplayed a one out fly ball hit by Rebecca Hensley to start their first inning woes. Brianna Whorley worked a walk after a nine pitch at bat to put two on with one out. Kacey Whorley followed with a long three-run homer to center field.
Knight pitcher Olivia Simmons recovered from that point to retire 20 out of 23 batters to finish with a three hitter, with four strikeouts, one walk, and one hit batter. Hollie Hill had a 2 RBI single in the third to bring the Knights to within one run but Thompson retired the last 12 River hitters with nine strikeouts.
Simmons had two singles, Josey Lackey had a single, and Lakota Lucado had a double as James River out-hit Liberty, 5-3.
Simmons was once again on the mound for James River against Galax, facing Hayden Cassell from the Maroon Tide as these two dueled in a scoreless game for five innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, Cameron Hildebrand tripled over the left fielder’s head to lead off the inning. Lucado followed with a single to put her team up 1-0. The Knights proceeded to load up the bases with no outs but a tiring Cassell then rallied to strike out the side without another run scoring.
Galax lead off hitter Ashlym Brady worked a nine pitch walk off of an equally tired Simmons and eventually scored on Cassell’s two out single to tie the game at one apiece. However, Lackey led off the bottom of the seventh with a key single and moved up on a Sara Faust bunt, eventually scoring the winning run on an RBI slow roller from Lucado.
Pitching her second game of the day against a quality opponent, Simmons struck out 11 batters while walking three and hitting one. She limited Galax to five hits.
“It was a challenging weekend but we survived with a close loss and a close win against two good opponents,” said coach Steve Austin. “We will likely be in a lot of these ‘grinder’ games this year so hopefully we will gain from each experience.”
River also beat Radford last week, 9-1, and the Knights are now 3-1 overall. River and LB are both idle next week for spring break.